Tier 5 Government Authorised Exchange scheme is for individuals coming to the UK through approved programmes that aim to share knowledge, best practice, and to experience the social & cultural life in the UK.

The Programme would allow you to spend up to two years in the UK gaining valuable professional and life experience. Tier 5 GAE allows UK employers to hire the brightest candidates from overseas, helping them start their careers in highly respected companies and utilize that expertise once they go back to their home country.

We work directly with the employers & sponsors to support them by providing sponsorship for non-EEA nationals they have identified for their internship programmes in the UK.

The sponsors hold an A rated Sponsor License which allows them to act as an “over-arching body” and to issue Certificates of Sponsorship for individuals who meet the eligibility criteria and wish to apply for a Tier 5 Visa to come and experience working, social & cultural life in the United Kingdom.

The scheme is normally endorsed by at least one government department.

GAE Programme Eligibility

Tier 5 GAE scheme is complicated in nature due to having no set criteria and requirements vary with schemes & sponsors. Some of the general criteria are mentioned below.

  • Maximum duration of the placement must not last longer than 12 months.
  • The intern must either hold a degree, or be studying towards a degree equivalent to a UK bachelor’s degree or higher
  • The internship role must be supernumerary and must not fit into a Tier 2 (General) occupation category; thereby not affecting the UK Resident Labour Market.
  • The internship offered must be a full time placement and the conditions of Employment in line with The National Minimum Wage Act and all other applicable legislation.
  • The intern must be above 18 years of age.
  • The Employer must be a UK Registered Company, Charity, and Government Department.
  • Any work that the Intern undertakes must be at a skill level of NVQ Level 3 or above.
  • The Employer offering the internship must have the financial and personnel resources to support and supervise the Intern throughout the period of their internship. If the employer is not a Tier 2 sponsor, we require a copy of the Employers Liability Insurance Certificate, Latest Audited Accounts with the name of the Accountant clearly stated and Employers PAYE Number.
  • This program is not open to employers in Agriculture,Hospitality or Care sector.

Switch in the UK 

You can apply to change (‘switch’) to a Tier 5 (Temporary Worker –Government Authorized Exchange) visa.You should apply before your current visa expires.

You can apply if you’re a:

  • student, whether studying, re-sitting an examination or writing a thesis
  • student union sabbatical officer
  • student nurse
  • postgraduate doctor or dentist
  • Tier 4 visa
  • sponsored researcher who came to the UK on a work permit and you want to continue in the same job with your sponsor
  • You must have completed a UK bachelor’s or master’s degree during your last grant of leave. The Internship must be directly related to this degree.

Upon receiving an enquiry, we will request for the below documents to be submitted for an Initial Assessment:

  • Intern’s Degree Certificate & Transcripts
  • Internship offer Letter
  • Intern’s passport copy & Current visa
  • Intake Questionnaire
  • Please note that if an employer is not a Tier 2 sponsor, we would also require a copy of their Employers Liability Insurance, Incorporation Certificate, VAT certificate or Latest Audited Accounts and PAYE Reference Number.

Once, the relevant documents are submitted for the assessment, we will confirm within 1 working day if the individual is eligible for GAE Scheme. We will then recommend the sponsor/scheme the employer must register with based on the circumstances.

Upon successful Employer Registration, if necessary we will assist the employer/intern in making the request for the certificate of sponsorship and then submitting the Tier 5 GAE application. At City legal, we work with numerous sponsors under the Tier 5 GAE scheme and we can assure you a smooth, fast and efficient process.

Benefits of Tier 5 GAE

During your Tier 5 Internship GAE Visa, you can do the following.

  • study (for some courses you’ll need an Academic Technology Approval Scheme certificate)
  • work in the job described in your certificate of sponsorship
  • do a second job for up to 20 hours per week
  • do a job on the Tier 2 shortage occupation list for up to 20 hours per week as well as your main job
  • apply to change (‘switch’) into a Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa if you’re in the government authorized exchange scheme for sponsored researchers
  • bring family members with you

Benefits of using City Legal Services for Tier 5 GAE:

  • We are partnered with several A rated sponsors, which means that we can assist you in choosing the right scheme and right sponsor based on your circumstances.
  • The Sponsors we deal with can certify maintenance of funds for the interns they sponsor under Tier 5 Government Authorized Exchange and no personal bank statements are required.
  • Candidates in UK on Tier 4 can switch to Tier 5 GAE if they can find an internship that meets UKVI’s criteria.
  • We provide full support to our clients throughout the process of the application, clearly advising on every step including Entry Clearance and Visa Application.
  • Extremely Quick turnaround times; we can arrange to issue a Certificate of Sponsorship within 1 working day of receiving all the paperwork provided its correct and in line with the requirements of UKVI.
  • We have a 100% success rate in Tier 5 GAE visa Process.

If you have family members who would like to join you or remain with you in the United Kingdom, and are from outside of the EEA area, they must apply at the same time as you.

Dependent is someone who is your partner, your child younger than 18, your child over 18 if they are currently in the UK as a dependent.

Each of your dependents will have to pay for the health surcharge as well.

Next important thing is that each of your dependents have to show savings in their accounts or your account of £630 for at least 90 days before submitting the application. It is crucial that you can show you can support your dependents because they will not be allowed to claim any public funds.

If your dependents are applying from their home country they will have to do it online. In order for them to get a biometric residence permit their fingerprints and photographs will be taken at a visa application center. They will be able to collect the residence permit within 10 days of the date they stated they will arrive in the UK.

Please be aware that family members cannot switch into a Dependent visa if they are already in the UK on a Visitor visa. On the other hand your dependents who are already in the UK can apply to extend or switch their visas to stay with you.